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Bidirectional regulation of acupuncture and its plausible mechanismsCN

PAN Wei-xing;Janelia Research Campus,Howard Hughes Medical Institute;

Abstract:The effects of acupuncture on functional regulation of biological systems have been studied extensively. The most interesting feature of acupuncture is the bidirectional regulatory ability to restore homeostatic values of body systems from either up or down states,which was found by Chinese biomedical researchers several decades ago,and has recently been observed by peers internationally. Acupuncture can produce two physiological response patterns,an immediate short-term response or/and a long-lasting response. The bidirectional regulatory effects of acupuncture are rarely observed under physiological states(normal homeostasis),rather,they are usually observed under pathological states(abnormal homeostasis)with long-lasting response patterns. This suggests that the effects of acupuncture under pathological states are different from the mechanisms under normal physiological states. This is important for understanding and developing acupuncture therapy,and also gives insight into understanding the biological control process itself.The present paper reviews the experimental literature and discusses the four conditions that produce bidirectional regulation of acupuncture,i. e. the inherent properties of the target systems,the functional states of the target system,the acupoint characteristics,and the stimulation parameters. Finally,two hypotheses are proposed to explain the mechanisms of bidirectional effects of acupuncture. The possible peripheral mechanism is that acupuncture can stimulate different types of peripheral nerve fibers to produce opposite regulatory effects;and the possible central mechanisms is that acupuncture might activate the adaptive control process of the central nervous system to restore homeostatic balance.
  • DOI:

    10.13702/j.1000-0607.190260

  • Series:

    (E) Medicine & Public Health

  • Subject:

    Traditional Chinese Medicine

  • Classification Code:

    R245-0

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